THE INTERIOR Ministry has said that for now it will not cancel the problematic tenders for the supply of technology for guarding Slovakia’s eastern border with Ukraine and for producing passports with biometric data.
The ministry explained that, due to a shortage of time, it had gone ahead and ordered the original winners of these tenders, Ericsson and Hewlett Packard, to supply the respective products.
Both tenders were accompanied by problems in the past, but the ministry now says that it chose to confirm the original winners because otherwise the deadlines for drawing Sk1 billion in euro-funds which must be used this year would not be met.
Securing the eastern border with Ukraine is crucial for Slovakia’s planned entry to the EU’s visa-free Schengen zone. It will require a total of Sk2 billion, most of which will come from the EU, the Pravda daily wrote.
The order for the new passports is worth Sk750 million. They are expected to be issued in the second half of next year and should include biometric data such as a fingerprint.
26. Oct 2006 at 13:02